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The Revolution against the Church - Michel Vovelle

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The Revolution against the Church
Michel Vovelle
Polity Press
UK Publication Date

In Paris in the winter and spring of 1793–94, a sudden and violent attempt at "dechristianization" flared up. It is widely regarded as a wilful endeavour to eradicate religious institutions, practices and beliefs in an effort to set up a new cult – that of Reason.

Vovelle attempts to discover how we should evaluate this episode – as a tragic accident of the moment or as a momentous break in religious history lasting to the present day. From extensive documentary evidence, Vovelle traces the growth of the revolutionary movement against the Church. He illustrates his arguments with such indicators as the taking down of bells and surrendering of silverware, drawing conclusions from the many such traumatic events of the "dechristianizing" mentality in early modern Europe.

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Michel Vovelle
is a renowned historian and a leader in his field. His previous books include Ideologies and Mentalities
(Polity Press, 1990).

'An excellent synthesis ... Vovelle provides an often colourful narrative of the dechristianisation movement. His grasp of its geography is impressive and he captures well the profound ambiguity of its impact on French culture.' Ecclesiastical History

'This is an important book ... it also gives a helpful introduction to the historical debate .... it is an essential monograph.'
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